Fallon to Move Broadcast Buying to StarLink

CHICAGO Fallon is exiting the broadcast media buying business, and will transfer roughly $50 million in such business to Publicis Groupe sister StarLink here at the beginning of next year, according to executives.

The agency, which has offices in Minneapolis and New York, currently handles broadcast buying for clients such as Holiday Inn, Virgin Mobile and Lee, according to North American media director Lisa Seward. The shop will continue to handle media planning and print buying for those clients, Seward said.

The shop did not hold a review prior to the shift, Seward said. “We think StarLink is a good partner because they work and think the way we do,” she said.

Though Seward has long been a proponent of bundling creative and media accounts, she said the trend of clients separating their accounts led to the decision. “I still believe everything I’ve ever believed,” she said. “But the marketplace trend has spoken on this point.”

Seward would not comment on estimated billings being shifted. According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, broadcast spending for clients such as Holiday Inn, Virgin Mobile, Lee, EDS, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and was just above $50 million last year.

The shop will shift the business at the beginning of 2005, Seward said. Fallon will lose three positions as a result of the shift, she said.